In the book by Arthur C Clarke, later made into a film by Stanley Kubrick, a monolith first appears on Earth in Africa three million years ago and appears to confer intelligence upon a starving tribe of great apes to develop tools.
Now, a similar object has been found on the on Batca Doamnei Hill in northern Romania, prompting the local mayor of Piatra Neamt to write a statement.
Neamt Culture and Heritage official Rocsana Josanu said: 'We have started looking into the odd appearance of the monolith.
With no clear explanation for the disappearance in sight, Twitter users began speculating on the latest odd twist in a very unusual year.
The Federal Bureau of Land Management's Utah office announced that the Red Rock Country monolith had been removed "by an unknown party" on November 27, with rocks left to mark the place where it had stood.
A spokeswoman for Piatra Neamt police, Georgiana Mosu, said officers are conducting an inquiry into the illegally-installed structure, which was positioned in a protected archaeological area from November 27.
She added: 'Before installing something there, they needed permission from our institution, one that must then be approved by the Ministry of Culture'.
"The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property". The BLM received both positive and negative input regarding the status of the structure and was investigating who installed it when a person or group removed it. The masses wait for more information, and for more monoliths to appear throughout the world.
A mysterious monolith has been discovered in northern Romania.
"Whoever placed the monolith would have suffered legal consequences because we can't allow structures without legal authorisation", he said. However, in 1991, two Englishmen David Chorley and Doug Bower came forward to claim responsibility for the crop circles, saying they had created them as "joke", using ropes and a plank of wood.
The helicopter pilot who discovered the first monument in Utah believes the structures are part of a "new wave" of art installations.
He said he would be "tolerant of them" if the monolith attracts more tourists.
One leading theory is that the monolith was the work of a California artist who died in 2011 - and was a friend of Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy. That said, his son has recalled that his father once told him that he'd one day like to leave his artwork in remote locations to be discovered later on.